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Coming off their first bye week of this young CFL season, the 2-0 Ottawa REDBLACKS will be looking to stay undefeated on Friday when they host another undefeated team in the Winnipeg Blue Bombers at TD Place.
The Bombers, meanwhile, will be looking to do the exact same thing, with the visitors from Manitoba also off to a 2-0 start.
The REDBLACKS put up an impressive offensive performance in their last game back in Week 2 against the Saskatchewan Roughriders, putting up 44 points in the process. Quarterback Dominique Davis impressed in his team’s win, completing 30 of his 39 pass attempts for 354 passing yards and three touchdowns. That performance earned Davis a spot amongst the Shaw CFL Top Performers for the week and you can bet the REDBLACKS pivot is looking to build off that Friday night.
The REDBLACKS, who currently sit at second in the East behind the 3-0 Hamilton Tiger-Cats, face a third-straight team from the West Division in as many games to start the season, having already defeated the defending Grey Cup champion Calgary Stampeders and Saskatchewan Roughriders to open the 2019 campaign. Ottawa went 1-1 against the Bombers last season, defeating Winnipeg 44-21 in Week 10 before dropping a 40-32 overtime decision in Week 17.
Ex-Bombers turned REDBLACKS
Dominique Davis, in his second season with the REDBLACKS, isn’t alone in facing his former Blue Bombers team on Friday. Defensive back and 2017 All-Star Chris Randle, who spent the past five seasons in Winnipeg before signing on with Ottawa in the off season, will face the Bombers for the first time with his new club. Receivers Ryan Lankford and Julian Feoli-Gudino are two other former Bombers also suiting up against a familiar adversary on Friday.
East vs West
Ottawa’s only two games this season have been against West Division teams, with the REDBLACKS winning both. With an East Division opponent in Montreal on the horizon for Week 5, Ottawa will put all their energy into turning an impressive start into a perfect 3-0 against the West to kick off 2019. Following the Montreal game on July 13, Ottawa will play three of four games against West Division teams.
Not that it should surprise anybody at this point, but Lewis Ward hasn’t missed a beat since his record-setting rookie campaign in 2018. The now second-year kicker has extended his streak of regular season perfect to 57-straight without a miss. The Canadian All-Star and former University of Ottawa standout, Ward continues to be part of a formidable special teams trio with punter/holder Richie Leone and long snapper Louis-Philippe Bourassa.
Scouting the opposition
New faces on defense
Counting on one of the more dynamic offences in the league last season, the Bombers added some major pieces on defence over the course of the off season. The likes of DB Winston Rose, a former REDBLACK who had five interceptions with the BC Lions last season, as well as Willie Jefferson on the defensive line, who had 10 sacks, two interceptions and two forced fumbles last year, makes this defense a scary one to play against.
A new favorite target for QB Matt Nichols has emerged in the first two games of the seasons in receiver Lucky Whitehead, the ex-NFLer who joined the Bombers during the off season. Whitehead has had a great start to his CFL career, with eight receptions, 158 receiving yards and two touchdowns in two games.
Only a few days after Canada Day, fans at TD Place will be treated to a game between between arguably the CFL’s top two Canadians in Ottawa star receiver and 2018 Most Outstanding Canadian Brad Sinopoli and Andrew Harris, who won the award in 2017. The running back has put up 182 yards on 26 carries, averaging for seven yards per rush this season.
Ottawa REDBLACKS vs Winnipeg Blue Bombers | Week 4 – July 5th, 2019
Kickoff – 7:30 p.m. ET | TD Place Stadium
7 PM ET | 5 PM MT | EN: TSN | Radio : EN : TSN 1200 | FR : 104,7 FM Outaouais